Within my circles of friends, Bible study and church, a recurring theme keeps coming up and I thought I would talk a bit about it. I definitely need the reminder.
Our children are a top priority in our lives. When I say this, I'm assuming that our husband is at work and we are spending time in the Word on a daily basis. Those two things are top priorities as well.
Here's the problem I'm seeing in my life and I'm hearing in others' lives. We are so busy and we keep filling up our lives so that there is no room. Where do our kids fit in? If you can participate in the busy activities that I have then you fit in, but otherwise, find something to do on your own, I'm busy.
We, as mothers, are not called to plant gardens, mop floors, vacuum and dust, we are called to raise little ones to love and serve Jesus. How can I do that when I'm rushing around cleaning up? Ok., definitely NOT advocating that we allow our houses to become messy and nasty.
Our children can participate in these things. They can be a part. The little nine-month old, that stays with us during the day, rushes over to the dryer as soon as it is opened and tries to help pull things out. The busyness in me says, "Get out of the way. I can do it much faster on my own. I don't need your help." But as a mom, it is spending time with our baby to allow emptying the dryer to be a game he can enjoy. Yes, it definitely takes longer.
What about putting said baby in the high chair while you waltz around the kitchen mopping or cleaning up? Waltzing doesn't happen as easily without music, so put on something fun and give the baby a spoon to beat on his tray for a drum. Obviously we wouldn't be ignoring baby but interacting with him and laughing and playing while we do. It really does kill two birds with one stone, just takes a bit longer. We get our stuff done and baby is thoroughly pleased to have mommy's attention.
What about when the kids are fighting and fussing with each other? Maybe a time-out to play alone in separate spots. That works well in my house. Or gathering all the children to sit for a story. Yes, the dishwater will get cold, but it will keep. Sometimes all it takes is re-directing.
Yes, there are times when discipline is necessary, but sometimes our children need help re-directing their emotions. It may not call for a time-out, but just time away from each other, or time sitting on the couch holding hands. Usually we can't get past the first few minutes before they are cracking up and laughing with each other.
We are moms first before housekeepers. Let's make sure that we don't check off too many things on our to-do list without spending a little time with our precious children. And let's also do them a favor by making sure that we carve out time for their daddy. That way they can be sure that Mom and Dad love each other and will always be together for them.
I usually like to try to get most of the cleaning up done before dh gets home. Obviously we still have dishes and some things left to do, but the majority of it should be done, so that when Daddy gets home, we are ready to do what is on his list - even if it's a movie or a game or nothing at all.
We have the best job in the world. We get to teach and train little hearts and help them grow to be more like Jesus every day. Let's not forget. To temper this just a bit, as I don't think it's healthy to spend all of our time focusing on our children, a quote I heard went something like this: Instead of focusing on our children, we should focus our children. That's our job. Our job is to teach them to honor, to respect and to love one another. Not to be at their beck and call.
I'm afraid though that too often I go the other way and send them off to find something to do, so I can take care of my work - and what is that? usually busy work, work that is not important, just something to fill my time so that I can say I'm busy. Yuck!
Enjoy your kids today.